The butter lamb (Baranek wielkanocny) is a traditional addition to the Easter Meal for many Polish Catholics. Butter is shaped into a lamb either by hand or in a lamb-shaped mould. It is also sold at Polish specialty markets, and some general grocery stores in Polish neighborhoods at Easter time. Frequently the eyes are represented by peppercorns and it carries a white standard with a red cross.

I thought everyone did this at Easter, until I missed the tradition and am trying to help celebrate and inspire you butterlamb sculptors with this overview.

My home made
 of Easter 2012 :


Easter 2009: This was made from a mold that I bought from the Polish Art Center  www.polartcenter.com

It seems that a red ribbon around the neck and a white flag with a red cross are common denominators. Even if people buy their butter lamb, they'll add peppercorns for eyes, or a red ribbon or a bit of parsley which makes it look like the lamb is grazing.

Here are some other Butter Lambs - enjoy, and thanks for sharing your photos...

There are margarine lambs too


Home made butter lamb (without a mold)

A store bought ButterLamb. She'll need eyes and a ribbon at least. And I would smooth down the ridge where the two halves of the mold meet. Suggestion: Add some shredded butter.

I'm not sticking my tongue out at you.

A Man-lamb!

Here you can see the plastic mold in the picture


very nicely done
I've decided that having the lamb's ears stick straight out improves your butterlamb. You can't get this from a mold, you need to sculpt them. You may need to put your work of art in freezer for 10 minutes if the ears start to wilt. Compare:

Points for innocence here. The Holly Golightly of Easter lambs?

Creative liberty taken  by a store which makes them to sell.


I love this one the best. It looks like a butter llama to me.
It was hand-shaped by a nun, so she should know. 

Now I want to do a butter llama next year.
Polish Easter in Sonoma County (or Peru)?

Wow - this hand-shaped fresh butter lamb is really impressive!        
Great job with the wooly texture. AND It's HUGE.


This one is protecting the Easter basket, on its way to the Church to be blessed.


Here cloves are used instead of the usual peppercorns for eyes.
Make sure that it doesn't have the effect of making the lamb look knocked-out.


This sculptor has done a few butter lambs


Oh Dear, this one is down for the count. She's not even upright. Perhaps they only wanted to use 50% of the butter and so used the front half of the lamb-mold.

I suggest they commit 100% to a butterlamb

A butter lamb-bird. The new Polish Peep? Too cute! More Disney or Hello-Kitty than the usual Polish butterlamb.
Wait, is this white CHOCOLATE? I've been tricked by an imposter.



Here are some hand-made butterlambs A Comfortable lamb, A for effort here.


A entire FLOCK of Easter lambs! A tradition for this family.

And a butter ham!

Very happy butter lambs.


This photo just screams Polski Easter:  The kielbasa is on display next to a symbolic reminder of the Lamb of God rendered in fat.


This one looks like a cross between a butter lamb and a butter turtle.

This Easter Lamb was made from the mold that the Polish Art Center sells.
This is how they look right out of the mold.

This easter table looks SO Polish.

What do Butter Lambs have to do with Dragon Slayers?

St. George Day in England

A: They both are associated with the Standard of St. George:
                         a Red cross on the white flag.

St. George slaying his dragon

Here is a butter lamb blog entry

here is another


Here is a family sharing their TRADITIONAL POLISH EASTER with you.

What is a Polish Easter like?

The menu is set in stone: sausage (smoked and fresh), ham, horseradish to represent the bitter aspects of life, both hard-boiled eggs with shells dyed red and peeled hard-boiled eggs pickled in beet juice, and the classic Polish gifts of welcome to guests—the life-sustaining staples, bread and salt. The centerpiece on the table is always the same: the butter lamb, a symbol of the Lamb of God watching over the meal, sitting on a bed of greens. The day before Easter, all of these foods are carefully packed into a basket and taken to the church to be blessed by the priest and sprinkled with holy water. (Since the church’s exodus to Cheektowaga made it difficult for the older people who remained in Buffalo to find a priest to bless their baskets, the priest now travels to them, meeting them at the market on Saturday.)

In spite of the thousands of butter lambs sold at the market and in grocery stores around the city, many more are made at home by women either using molds handed down in their families or working freehand. Denise showed me her mold, the little flag reading wesolego alleluja (Happy Easter), and the beautifully embroidered cloth she uses to cover the basket on its way to be blessed. In her family, ethnicity trumps religion. She was planning to make her lamb as soon as she got to her mother’s house in Niagara Falls, so the basket could go to the church for its blessing—this in spite of the fact that neither she nor her mother is Catholic.

When I asked why, she replied, “It’s part of being Polish; you just have to do it.

For me the Butter Lamb symbolizes the Divine Feminine aspect of Creation. In Poland, there is no Butter Lion.